Prep School

The 20s are all about getting ready to head back to college. It's most ambiguous time of the year. Yeah, you're excited to leave home because you're not doing anything anyway, but school actually means doing work, going to class, being independent and above all dealing with people. There's a lot to do before you ship off to your campus. You've got to get your look down, plan your schedule out and figure out what you'll be up to. Time to head to prep school with yours truly.

Every school year is a brand new opportunity for you to dominate your campus. I like to think of myself of somewhat of a male fashion icon prime example of a well adjusted twenty-something with a keen sense for style. You're not in high school anymore and it's to start dressing like it. At any point in time I could go from class to a meeting or talk to a professor in his or her office hours with pride and dignity. I look good, I look great, and I've got this. It's time to stop wearing t-shirts on a daily basis (or at least change the kind you wear), invest in essentials that will update your wardrobe and leave you looking on point. Yeah, you definitely need to express yourself and dress how you want to look, but be aware while it's wrong to judge based on first impressions, appearance is more than everything. If you're like me and would describe yourself a perfectly pressed everything prepped out stud, then here's what you'll need to get for the fall. Dark wash slim or skinny jeans - roll the cuffs and make sure they fit well (nobody wants to see your ass hanging out); button down shirts (oxford style works well), when it's warm roll the sleeves, and to take it all the way there slim cotton ties loosened are the bomb; cardigans, jackets and sweaters - this is what separates boys from men (get used to wearing them and layering with them, you'll just look so very put together, people won't even be able to handle it). Other than that, get your shoe game tight, invest in a backpack or messenger bag and prepare for people to swoon, as well as be respected. The thing about my school is people don't dress up, well me looking like this, is normal on a daily basis and that translates into looking overdressed, but I deal with it. This year it's all about dark colors, marled sweatshirts and shirts, and all the rest. Last but not least hair, cut it - shorter looks more grown up, but ultimately it's up to you. Check this tumblr for the looks I'm referring to (ladies there's a section for you too):  "Campus Couple"  - prep school is now in session.

*Best College Shows: Greek, Felicity, the Best Years - check this mockumentary webseries "Dorm Life"
 Brooks Brothers Fall 2010 Catalog [Back to Campus, Back to Town]
The most important thing about college, other than academics (you're there to study and graduate, first and foremost - don't forget it), is clubs/organizations and extracurriculars, hands down. I can't stress enough how imperative it is to get involved. It sounds cliché and corny as hell, but people say it because it's absolutely true. Almost all my friends from college have been through all the things I'm apart of. College is a place where you'll have a lot of time, and I mean a lot. If you're not in a class, studying, eating, or sleeping - then you have free time. There's too much time to do nothing. You will literally be bored out of your mind. Like I'm talking trying to have a discussion with Ryan Lochte crazy. Make a point to attend your activities fair, and sign up for email lists. Do what you're interested in, regardless of whether you know anyone in the group or not. Do not be afraid to attend info sessions alone. I almost missed the one for the TV station I shoot for all because no one would go with me, but you're in college now, you're capable and obligated to go places by yourself. I'm one of those kids who's so involved it's ridiculous, the only time I'm not doing something club related is when I'm focusing on academics. Here's the full run down of what I do on campus: IRA (residence hall association) - I just so happen to be president (aka kind of like super important on campus), Guest Star on a pop culture TV show, minority association of pre-med student member, allied faces (anti-racism awareness group), and last but not least, I'm in a fraternity, Phi Mu Delta. *Greek Life is amazing, but not for everyone, you should learn more about the community at your school (even if you never considered joining an organization) - it may be worth it. Because of my position I'm constantly running around in meetings, sending emails, making/putting up posters, interacting with new people, and above all pretending to be normal, when I'm nothing of the sort when it comes to student engagement. Now, you don't have to be like me (I wouldn't recommend it, I'm like the Chuck Norris of overachieving) but you should look into joining one (or more) clubs/organizations. Check your school website to see the list and pick stuff out that you want to pursue (you can always quit if you end up not liking anything). Play an intramural sport (if it floats your boat), or find an internship, co-op, job, or some type of research position. Anything to occupy your time, you're going to need it. That's what's up in prep school
 
College Tips for Newbies:
1) Acquaintances Do Not = Friends - Finding one thing in common with someone does not make them your friend, that's an acquaintance. Learn the difference, friendship takes time. It takes more than some commonalities for a dependable friendship to form.
2) Get Off Your Floor - Leave your door open for the first few weeks of school to be friendly, and make some friends on your floor, but do not I repeat do not stop there. Get off your floor and make other friends, especially with older students (cars for grocery runs & advice). When the lovey-dovey floor period ends, you'll need some people to hang out
3) Talk to Strangers in Class - Every time someone new sits next to you, make a point of out introducing yourself. Knowing someone's name in college actually means a lot, you'll at least be on a "hey - what's up" basis; help form study groups, choose lab partners and project workers
4) Decorate Your Room - You'll spend most of your time there, make sure who you are is reflected in it. Pictures, posters, quotes, magazines etc. *Plug-in air freshener will save your life and make your room the life of the party
5) Time Management - Get it together soon. Make a master schedule, that includes classes, extracurriculars, dining, and napping. Make sure to block out time to study and do homework (and stick to it). The urge to stay up and play video games or go out on a weeknight will be strong, fight it. Close your door when you need personal time and let people know that you're done for the day socializing (college is socializing 24/7)

6) Ask for Help - When you need it, do it. Everyone is here to help to succeed in everything. If you need extra help in class, talk to your professor or TA (get tutoring or private lessons), problem personally seek counseling or talk to your RA; everything you need in one location
7) Read for Ahead of Class - You'll thank me for this one. You actually need to read for some classes, do it before class so you know what the hell your professor is talking about. Take notes (sticky notes and highlight sparingly) and stay ahead. *Refer to your professor by what they prefer to be called! Don't assume marital status either (no Mr./Mrs./Miss)
8) Use Your Voice - So much stuff will happen and you have to be able to speak up, and say something when it matters. If injustice goes down on campus (sexism, assault, racism, slander etc.) and you witness it, don't stay silent - do something, you have the power to. If you go someplace and you're uncomfortable or things are getting out of hand, be responsible - get your friends and leave. Sex, drugs, and alcohol are all up to you.
9) Keep Your Opinions to Yourself - People are going to be different from you, just because they're ideals are not the same as yours doesn't make them necessarily wrong. Keep your judgemental thoughts to yourself and be conscious of your surroundings. Your simple opinion could offend someone especially a minority. You never know what identities people hold (i.e. LGBTQ, mixed race, disabled, mental sickness etc.)

*Above all else, be who you want to be. Popularity still exists in college, just in a different form, but you're free to do whatever and be whomever you'd like. Take advantage of it. You'll never have freedom like this or be in this utopian haven for young people ever again.

The 20s are all about preparing yourself for another school year. College can be an amazing place full of self discovery and progress, but also a dangerous place where things can easily go terribly wrong. It's up to you to be conscious, sober, and wary at all times. You never know what might go down. Better to be overly cautious than underprepared. Take yourself to prep school.
 
My blog post question for the day is ... what piece of advice do you wish had been given to you when you started college, or what advice would you give to an incoming student now? Above all else, to thine own self be true. Do whatever you want, but be aware that you will have to deal with the repercussions.

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